Devourer of UpdatesNovember 4, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 23 Comments
Tags: Guild Wars 2, MMO, mmorpg
So after a few weeks with little to feed upon, (and some technical hardware problems on my end) the ravenous masses now have their meal. Arenanet has given us an update.
Lets start with the engineer toolbelt. To be frank, I don’t really care that much about the engineer. I’ll end up playing one at some point, as I am one of the people who will eventually play every race and every profession, but I’m not altogether chomping at the bit to give it a try.
That said I like that Arenanet is going out of their way to give all utility skills that extra toolbelt option. It is really starting to give me a feeling of something more than just an engineer. There is almost a James Bond feel to some of these skills.
For instance, Slick Shoes releases a pool of oil on the ground, making enemies slip and fall. The toolbelt option gives you super speed. The direct implication in my head is that I am sliding around on the oil like I used to slide around on black ice as a kid or on hardwood floors in my socks or any slick surface a child comes into contact with. It also gives off the feel of being a sort of improvised addition to the original intent of the gadget, much like what a secret agent might do with his spy technology.
Depending on how this is implemented a player could have a lot of fun with it. These ideas seem both innovative, intuited directly from the previous skill, and fun. I think that’s a lot harder than it sounds.
What I’m less impressed with is the update to pets. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a step up from previous usability. There are a few common sense changes.
Changing from 3 total slots, where aquatic pets didn’t really make sense on land, to a system that has 2 land pet slots and 2 aquatic, just works better. It’s kind of similar to the aquatic weapon set switch really.
And I like that you can call in the other pet when the current pet is down. It gives rangers an extra tactical kick at the can, something a lot of professions seem to have.
It’s when we start talking about skills and controls that I get a problem. I want a sophisticated AI system, direct control when necessary, and specific use of a number of different skills. Hopefully some form of pet skill bar would achieve this. What we seem to be getting is something else.
A very basic two option AI system that doesn’t seem to add much of anything to usability. Basically it’s attack when I attack, or attack only when I specifically tell my pet to attack. In my opinion that’s very simple. Why not AI options that tell my pet to harass melee or soften up spellcasters? Or an option to concentrate on damage or conditions?
Is it so much to ask for the same basic usability that most other games have with pets? I understand if you want to do something different but I’m not much interested in reduced options.
Aside from that I have mixed feelings about some of the changes to unlocking pets. The changes seem to make pets less individual companions and more unlockable generic companions.
You don’t have to level them because they adjust to your level. Which I admit is convenient but to an extent kind of takes away from a sort of bonding feeling that a lot of people who would want to play a pet class would be interested in. Mixed feelings there. I know I can’t level a dozen different pets at once, but seeing pets develop new skills or abilities is normally one of the things I like most about pet classes.
Finally they talk about cross profession combos, and although I’m at a loss to suggest better ideas for combos, it seems Arenanet is kind of stuck for their combo ideas.
They all seem to involve, as they describe, a field and things passing through that field or interacting with that field. And while a lot of Arenanet skills seem intuitive and follow logically from what they’re supposed to be doing, I felt some of the examples didn’t. Well one anyway.
Use Ricochet through a Firewall to get a bouncing axe that has a chance to burn the targets it hits. Leaping Death Blossom through a Symbol of Faith will remove conditions from allies near your target. Stomp inside a Smoke Screen to cloak nearby allies.
I love the Stomp and Smoke Screen combo, but I don’t necessarily think Death Blossom and Symbol of Faith seem like they go together. How does someone jumping through that symbol remove conditions? Oh well, magic I guess. The other examples seem good, and I
I’m probably coming off more negative than I feel about the update, but those were my problems with it regardless.
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